Sometimes, eating healthy means relying on other people to do some of the cooking for you. We rely on our slow cooker, and a few pre-packaged "convenience" foods to help make good dinners faster.
Pre-washed lettuce (it was on sale!), bottled dressing, and pre-made salsa took bean and cheese burritos and made them a meal. And despite 5 of 7 ingredients coming from a package, our dinner was flavorful, healthy and fresh.
It definitely wasn't the most budget friendly of meals, but some conveniences are worth the money. Even with some expensive choices, we fed both of us for around $8 (around 1200 calories total). Not a terrible deal.
100% whole wheat tortilla (Guerrero) + pre-sliced medium cheddar (Tillamook)
Black beans (made in slow cooker)
medium red salsa (Casa Sanchez)
pre-washed organic spring mix (Earthbound Farm)
bottled dressing (we didn't really like the dressing, so I won't recommend it)
To help save money in the future:
1. Make too much salad dressing and keep extras in a bottle/jar in the fridge. For us, it's really hard to find vinegar/mustard free bottled dressing, two things Dan hates, so we usually make our own.
2. Wash extra spring mix/lettuce, and keep it in a plastic bag with a paper towel in the fridge. It lasts for 3-5 days that way, and makes a second salad really easy.
3. Make really big batches of beans in the slow cooker, and freeze the extras. We use them in salads, burritos, soup, etc.
4. If you're buying pre-packaged items, plan your meals around what's on sale--sometimes it makes it as cheap as making your own! We bought the salsa, the spring mix and the bottled dressing on sale, and got some great deals.
Do you rely on any packaged items? What do you recommend?
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.
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